Today we visited the Trishul women’s project in Aram Nagar, Mumbai. Based in an area of poverty the project empowers women through creative skills training and the products they make are sold to generate an income for the ladies. The project allows the women to bring their babies and young children to work so that they don’t have to worry about childcare. The ladies are very proud of what they do and work very hard producing some wonderful bags, jewellery and other textile items.Trishul is a well supported project and the ladies here earn a good wage for the work they do. We talked about the benefits of creativity for mental health and left them with various items to enable them to make some prayer flags. Trishul Project Website

Just down the road from Trishul we came across a cat cafe ! The only cat cafe in India ! They have them in the UK but we didn’t expect to see one here in Mumbai.You enter, order your food, sanitise your hands and then go through to sit with the cats. Strict instructions not to wake a sleeping cat, use flash photography or feed the cats. These cats were street cats and on entering the project they are given full veterinary healthcare. Most had 3 legs and one had no eyes ! They sat on our laps and we stroked them whilst we had coffee. The cats were all available for adoption......I was under orders not to ! Tomu was my favourite as he had 3 legs, half an ear and was overweight. The cafe also had food for the street dogs in a separate area. Whilst we were there “Jimmy” an old street dog popped in for food. He was very old, dirty and had mouth cancer but the staff gave him a big fuss. Then “Mumpy” came in for some fuss. The irony of a cat cafe on the edge of the Aram Nagar slums where they can’t afford food yet people were flocking in to feed and support the animals....Still, I got my fix of animal therapy as it’s not safe to approach the street animals in normal circumstances...tempted as I am ❤️

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